top of page

Treating Grief 

Have you recently experienced a loss? Are you feeling bereaved or grief-stricken? Grief is one of the many parts of life that our holistic team of psychotherapists work with here at The Holding Space. To find out more about how we approach treatment for grief, read below.

Image by Yuris Alhumaydy

What is grief?

Grief is a complex human experience characterized by emotional, behavioral, and/or cognitive changes following a loss. It is closely linked with bereavement, which is specific to losses that occur through death. Alternative forms of loss that may lead to grief include, but are not limited to, physical loss of someone or something (e.g., lost animal or precious family heirloom), relational loss (e.g., lost romantic relationship, friendship, or family relationship), and loss of part(s) of self (e.g., lost body part, ability, or internal quality). We refer to grief as “human” and a “part of life” because, at some point, we will all experience it; as such, we believe no one should have to go through grief alone. Connection is an important part of moving through grief, whether that means connecting with others impacted by the loss, others who are grieving, your support system, or a therapist.

Despite its universality, grief may be experienced differently by everyone. The specific emotional, behavioral, and cognitive changes that an individual experiences, as well as their duration and intensity, are influenced not only by that individual’s personality and overall mental health, but also by their relationship(s) to whom or what they’ve lost, their support system and resources, and more. That being said, there are commonalities between individuals’ experiences of grief. Common experiences include not just sadness, but mixed emotions; yearning for the person/thing that was lost; prominent memories of the person/thing that was lost; and confusion and/or apprehension about how to move forward. There are also brain changes common among grieving individuals, which occur as a result of the brain needing to adapt to a world without the lost person, animal, or thing.

Image by Vijendra Singh
Image by Gabriel Alenius

As mentioned, grief can present in a variety of ways. In terms of emotions, you may experience—in varying degrees of intensity, combinations, and durations—sadness, anger, hopelessness, emptiness, tearfulness, guilt, resentment, or numbness. In terms of behaviors, you may experience changes in energy levels, appetite, sleep, or motor speed. For example, you may find yourself eating more than usual, or taking longer to do things than usual. In terms of cognitions, you may experience difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and/or making plans for the future, as well as a lack of interest in some, most, or all activities. For example, you may feel like you have nothing to look forward to without the person(s) or thing(s) you’ve lost, or like you can’t concentrate because everything seems like a reminder of them. Depending on your specific presentation, the changes you experience as a result of grief may also cause changes in important areas of your life, like relationships, work, etc.

 

If you have any of these experiences, you may want to consider therapy at our Los Angeles-based practice!

Can grief be experienced in various ways?

Absolutely, yes! As mentioned, each grief experience is individual and different. We are all unique human beings with our very own brains, life experiences, and filters that we experience life through. There are many factors in the relationships that you have with yourself, whom or what you’ve lost, your support system, and more that create your own unique experience of this very universal phenomenon.  

Why is this important? Because there is no right or wrong way to grieve or to move through grief. We can help you find ways to process, accept, and move forward from your loss(es), while also remaining connected to what you’ve lost. Additionally, we can help you connect with others in your life who may be impacted by the loss and/or your grief, so you don’t feel like you’re going through it alone.

Image by Marcus Ganahl

What does therapy for grief look like?

While depression often does have a biological component, it also often has roots in our early history and/or family dynamics. Based on this knowledge, therapy for depression often aims to identify, understand, and heal the underlying issues from our past, while also alleviating symptoms in the present.

 

Here at The Holding Space, we help you identify past and present the issues that are specific to you, and we offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic relationship have been established, your therapist will work with you to

explore not only how your depressive symptoms are impacting you in the present, but also how they developed and are maintained. Your therapist may integrate different treatment modalities into this exploration, with the goals of developing more empathy, understanding, and love for yourself and, through this, creating more space for change.

Grief has a beginning—loss—but it does not have an end; it is an ongoing experience that we learn to cope and live with. Our ability to do this is impacted by many factors, not the least of which is our general mental health and wellbeing. Based on this knowledge, therapy for grief at The Holding Space aims not only to alleviate grief symptoms in the present and future, but also to identify, understand, and heal preexisting and/or cooccurring mental health concerns. 

 

Here at The Holding Space, we help you identify the past and present issues that are specific to you, and we offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic relationship have been established, your therapist will work with you to explore how your present grief is both impacting and being impacted by your overall mental health and wellbeing. Your therapist may integrate different treatment modalities (link to our services page) into this exploration, which allows for a more holistic approach to your unique needs and goals. 

Image by Nick Fewings

Who does therapy for grief work for?

If you have experienced a loss and recognize the experiences described above, therapy for grief could be appropriate for you.

Start Therapy at The Holding Space in Los Angeles, CA Today!

Remember, you are never alone in your experience of grief. Our dedicated team of therapists are here to support you and your journey. To see if The Holding Space might be a fit for you and your unique needs, follow the steps below:

  1. Reach out to schedule a free consultation. 

  2. Speak with an experienced grief therapist.

  3. Begin finding peace in your life. 

Other Therapy Services Offered at the Holding Space in Los Angeles, CA

Our licensed and professional therapists have extensive experience in helping individuals experiencing grief and bereavement. We provide depth therapy, among other forms of therapy, in Los Angeles, CA, to help you holistically approach your grief and overall mental health. We also specialize in other therapy services including Depression treatmentTherapy for AddictionCouples TherapyArt Therapy, and BrainspottingContact us today to learn more about our Los Angeles-based practice.

bottom of page